Home Business News Commuters spend around £1.8bn a year on train tickets

Commuters spend around £1.8bn a year on train tickets

by LLB Reporter
17th Dec 19 8:56 am

UK commuters are on average forking out as much as 10% of their salary on annual train tickets, spending an average £2,605 each year.

Sainsbury’s Bank’s analysis of its credit card data found that customers purchasing annual tickets from South West Rail paid the most  at £3,780 each, followed by South East Trains at £3,662. Northern Rail users paid significantly less on a season ticket spending an average £1,014.

Sainsbury’s Bank has launched a Train Ticket Calculator to help commuters understand how much they could save if they buy their season tickets early to beat 2020 price rises.

Sainsbury’s Bank credit card data showing average annual train ticket spend across top 10 operators.

Rail operator Average train ticket amount spend in 2019
South West Rail £3,780
South East Trains £3,662
Thameslink £3,545
Great Western Railway £3,318
TransPennine Express £2,522
Virgin Trains £2,488
East Midlands Rail £2,385
Oyster £1,809
Scotrail £1,527
Northern Rail £1,014
Average £2,605


A separate study conducted by Sainsbury’s Bank found that just under a quarter (23%) of people that commute at least three times a week buy annual season train tickets.  Monthly travel cards are the most popular choice of ticket (34%) and a fifth (20%) of commuters buy daily tickets.

Annual season tickets could be a serious consideration for commuters, because as the study reveals, they could save an average £311 a year by purchasing an annual train ticket as opposed to monthly tickets.

Commuters are most likely to use a debit card (40%) to pay for their train tickets and one in eight (12%) use a credit card with a standard APR. Only 8% of commuters put the cost on a 0% purchase credit card, despite this being a cost-effective way to buy an annual ticket. The Sainsbury’s Bank Dual Offer Credit Card currently offers a 0% offer on purchases up to 25 months.

Jerome Fernandez, Head of Cards at Sainsbury’s Bank said, “The cost of train travel is a significant hit on UK workers’ take-home pay. We’ve developed the Train Ticket Calculator to help commuters make informed decisions about the cost of their train tickets for the year ahead. Our 0% Dual Offer Credit Card gives commuters the option to pay the train ticket off over time with no interest, as long as they pay it off within the offer period. This means they’re not facing the lump sum hit and could save on average  as much as £311 on the price of the train ticket as well.”

However, tickets are not the only cost associated with commuting by train. The research found commuters spend an average £17 every week on treats including hot drinks (37%), breakfast (35%) and snacks (31%). Commuters based in the North East (88%) and Yorkshire (87%) are most likely to buy themselves travel treats.

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